County sees jump in positive cases as more vaccine doses arrive here

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After the rise in the weekly number of positive cases of COVID-19 slowed slightly last week, the virus again reared its head this week, as the total number of positive cases jumped by an alarming rate again — topping 700 total cases here.

  Switzerland County Health Officer Dr. Scott Frede, in his weekly update, announced that as of Monday morning, January 25th, Switzerland County now has a total number of positive COVID cases since March of 2020 of 749.

  Of those, Dr. Frede reports that there are currently 57 active cases — down by three since last week; and the county has experienced six COVID-related deaths, but none in the past few months.

  Since January 1st, the total number of positive COVID cases here has grown by 214 — about nine positive cases a day. That percentage puts the county on track to come close to 300 cases in January alone — so it becomes even more important for residents to follow the guidelines established by the state with regard to wearing masks and socially distancing.

  The numbers here mean that Switzerland County remains in the “Red” classification by the Indiana State Board of Health.

  The Designation of the county being ‘Red’ means that the county has very high positivity and community spread. When a county is in the Red metric, these requirements remain in effect until the metric has returned to Orange or lower for two weeks.

  • Social gatherings of any kind, indoor or outdoor, are limited to 25 people.

  • A special, seasonal or commercial event for which more than 25 people will be in attendance, must submit a plan to the local health department at least seven days in advance and receive approval before proceeding.

  The total of 749 as of Monday, January 25th, shows that Switzerland County has had a rise in the number of positive cases during the past week of 55 cases.

  Here’s a look at the past month:

  • December 29th: 535 positive cases.

  • January 5th: 585 positive cases.

  • January 11th: 651 positive cases.

  • January 18th: 694 positive cases.

  • January 25th: 749 positive cases.

  Essentially for the past month (from December 29th to January 25th), the total number of cases here in Switzerland County has grown by 214 — so 29% of the county’s overall cases have been diagnosed in the past month.

  In the last week, from Monday, January 18th to Monday, January 25th, Switzerland County has seen a rise in the number of cases of 55. That weekly number rose since last week  — and it is still cause for caution and alarm as everyone moves towards deep winter when people will be staying in more.

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  With the number of cases on the rise again, vaccinations for the virus are now underway here in limited quantities.

  Dr. Frede said that The Switzerland County Health Department has a limited availability of vaccines and has started vaccinating ages 70 and up.

  “We expect a limited supply to be delivered each week,” Dr. Frede said. “Please go to ourshot.in.gov to register for an appointment. As an Indiana resident you may register for the vaccine in any county in the state. Be patient and check back frequently at ourshot.in.gov for available time slots as the schedule begins to open up. Any family member or friend with a cell phone can register an elderly person without computer or cell phone access.”

  To see if and when you are eligible to receive the vaccine, please go to www.ourshot.in.gov and follow the steps.

  As has been going on for the past several weeks, Dr. Frede reminds everyone that free, outdoor testing in your own vehicle without a doctor’s order is available at the Switzerland County Medical Building through a partnership with the Switzerland County Health Department, The Indiana State Department of Health and Kings Daughters Health.

  The program is for testing only. Ill patients or people who wish to consult with their healthcare provider should call their healthcare provider as usual. There is signage indicating directions.

  The hours of free testing are” Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the first and third Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. until noon.

  Those wishing to be tested are asked to register through https://scheduling.coronavirus.in.gov or call (812) 801-8707 for instructions.